Beginning his first steps in electronic music production in 2002 & having released a sturdy cord of highly successful productions on some of the best music imprints, we caught up with the Irishman Brendan Gregoriy, better known as Chymera. Combining his love for Detroit techno and Chicago house he creates a thoroughly individual and distinctive style of sounds. With impeccable production skills, addictive melodies, brooding atmospheres, 2016 sees Chymera unveiling his ambient semblance as Merrin Karras.
Hi Brendan, Thank you and Welcome to Euphoric! How have you been?
Not too bad at all, thank you for asking.
Having been born and raised in Ireland, you’ve spoken before about not really being into electronic music in your earlier teens. How and what influenced you musically?
I was into various kinds of guitar based music, from metal to alternative to rock to folk
Any early influences when you were starting out and artists that you admire?
Metallica was huge for me, also Nine Inch Nails, Neil Young, Smashing Pumpkins, Tool, Soundgarden, that sort of stuff.
Before we move on further, I’m curious to know the significance of the beetle in your website J?
No significance other than I just liked the image. I wanted something that looked great but was not connected to music
What is your current studio setup? Do you prefer to use software or hardware when producing new music?
I use both sides my side. I sequence everything with Ableton Live, and I have a small army of analogue and digital synths which fit mainly onto my table top. Software and hardware both have their benefits and I use both to give me the most options.
Your single “Midnight At The Aquarium” became huge, did you ever expect it to get that massive?
It didn’t become “huge” as such. It just got quite a bit of a buzz from some of my heroes. I’ve never had a big hit or anything. But my music has found its way into a lot of discerning DJs records boxes and I’m happy about that.
“ I’m a world citizen of no fixed abode at the moment. “ – Seems like you like to travel and explore. Is that true?
That was said a long time ago. I’ve been living in Berlin for the last 6 years. Though yes, I do love to travel.
Which is your favourite club? Do you plan your set before a gig, or do you just choose according to the vibe of the club at that point in time?
I don’t have a favourite club. Certain events and certain nights are special, but I’m not so much of a “club” person any more. I don’t go to any one club religiously, nor do I have a residency anywhere. I enjoy playing in Berlin because usually, my friends are there. I also love playing daytime parties somewhere in the sun. The only planning I do before a gig is to check what the vibe of the night will be. If I’m playing a DJ set, I see who else is on the bill and then decide whether to bring more house or more techno, or both. However many times I’ve chosen a “crate” of tracks and found that the vibe on the night was very different to how I anticipated so in those cases I’m always glad that I have a wide variety of tracks on my USB key to choose from. The best gigs are the ones where I can play whatever I want and have everyone enjoying it with me. When I’m playing live I’m slightly more limited in my choice of tracks, but I can still vary the intensity and play deeper or harder, though I always need to have some energy in the live set to really feel it properly.
Merrin Karras – Tell us something about him.
Merrin Karras is my ambient alter ego. I’m releasing my first album under that name in July on a label called A Strangely Isolated Place. I just received the vinyl of the album and it looks and sounds beautiful. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.
Your latest ambient album Apex, sounds lovely with those sublime atmosphere and sounds. What inspired you to find the mindful state & how long did it take to complete the album?
It took 2 years to make but I only worked on it for about 5 months in total, spread out over 2 winters in Berlin. The cold weather and the gloomy mood in Berlin had some effect on my mood and that translated itself into the album.
“I do get quite frustrated when I go onto Beatport and you’re just wading through literally thousands of tracks of shit and you find, like, five good ones.” – Alongside that, we see the physical sales seem to be diminishing at a rapid rate worldwide. What are your thoughts?
It depends. Vinyl sales have actually gone up quite a bit, but only for certain sub-genres. There are a lot of successful vinyl only labels out there now pushing very specific sounds which have a lot of supporters. There’s still tons of shite on both vinyl and digital, along with many gems too. It’s the DJ’s job to filter all the shite out and find the good stuff.
Which track of yourself is your favorite and why?
I don’t have an overall favorite but if I had to pick one I would say “A Question” which came out on NRK. The melodic progression still makes me feel the way I did when I made it.
What has been your favourite place and where are you based now? Are you looking to move anytime soon?
I have been living in Berlin for 6 years and I love it here. Spain will always have a place in my heart, though, I would like to return to live there at some point in the future.
What inspires you to make music in case you run out of motivation?
It’s all about the frame of mind. If I am not happy in any way, I can’t make music. I need to sort out all external stresses before I can make music.
Lastly, what projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on various tracks both as Chymera and Merrin Karras. The usual stuff
Thank you again, Brendan. Looking forward to more music & sending you good wishes for the year ahead.